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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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William Christian Zellner.

William Christian Zellmer is living on section 33, Walnut township, where he is extensively engaged in stock-raising, being one of the foremost stock breeders of Adair county.  Success has attended his efforts in large measure and has come as the legitimate and logical sequence of indefatigable energy and keen business sagacity.  He belongs to that class of citizens who have made Iowa the great commonwealth that it is today.  His birth occurred in Pottawattamie county on the 23d of December, 1879, his parents being William and Louise (Wendland) Zellmer, both of whom were natives of Germany.  The father came to America in 1864, settling in Wisconsin, where he purchased land.  He lived in that state for three years, but was driven out by the grasshoppers and, abandoning his land, for which he had paid two dollars and a quarter per acre, he went to Pottawattamie county, Iowa, and started in business life anew.  There he purchased a small tract of land, upon which he resided for four years.  He next removed to Cass county, Iowa, living four miles west of Atlantic until 1902, when he retired and took up his abode in that city, where his remaining days were passed.  He spent about eleven years in the enjoyment of well earned rest and was called to his final home on the 19th of January, 1913.  His widow survives him and makes her home in Atlantic.

William C. Zellmer was reared upon the ome farm to the age of twenty-two years, his time being divided between attendance at the schools of Cass county and work in the fields.  After reaching man's estate he rented one of his father's farms and engaged in its cultivation for three years.  He next purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land in Audubon county, Iowa, and resided upon that place for five years.  He then sold out and took up his abode in Walnut township, Adair county, where he purchased the farm of two hundred acres on section 33 on which he now resides.  He at once established his home thereon and has since occupied the place, which, under his care and supervision, has undergone a marked transformation.  In addition to his home he has become the owner of other desirable and valuable property, having now three hundred and sixty acres in Guthrie county.  He rents the latter, together with one half of his land in Prussia township, while he personally cultivates one hundred and sixty acres in Prussia township in addition to his home place.  He carries on general farming and stock-raising and is regarded as one of the most successful among the young agriculturists and stockmen in this part of the state.  In 1913 he began breeding registered Hereford cattle.  In 1907 he undertook the breeding of Percheron horses and now owns a fine imported stallion, Keota Frendman, No. 10921, which was imported from France.  He likewise breeds registered Poland China hogs and the extent and importance of his business in these connections makes him one of the foremost breeders of Adair county.  He is regarded as an excellent judge of stock, his opinions being accepted as authority by many.

In 1901 Mr. Zellmer was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Meislahn, a daughter of Christian and Margaret (Kleuver) Meislahn, both of whom were natives of Germany, in which country they were reared and married.  At length her father came to the new world and a few years later, or in 1874, he was joined by his wife.  They established their home in Effingham county, Illinois, where he engaged in farming until his death in the year 1894.  His widow now makes her home with her youngest son, Bernhardt Meislahn, a farmer living in Audubon county, Iowa.  Mrs. Zellmer was born in Effingham county, Illinois, May 1, 1882, and by her marriage has become the mother of seven children:  Fred, who was born April 1, 1904, and is now attending Willow Grove school of Walnut township;  Alma, born December 13, 1905;  Lester, September 14, 1907;  William, March 1, 1909;  Carl, January 14, 1911;  Annie, April 18, 1913;  and Richard, December 27, 1914.

The parents hold membership in the German Lutheran church at Casey and Mr. Zellmer is identified with Atlantic Lodge, No. 445, B. P. O. E., of Atlantic.  His political views accord with the principles of the democratic party, but he has neither time nor inclination to seek office, for his business affairs make constant demand upon his attention, and it is through his close application, unremitting energy and discriminating judgment that he has gained for himself the creditable position which he now occupies as a leading stockman of Adair county.



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